“She has been a wonderful person to work for, so energetic, and she put everything she has into the school system,” McDaniel said. “So I have learned that type of work ethic from her.”
McDaniel has worked closely with Day in the last few years, having began as director of special education in 2000.
“It has been a smooth transition so far,” McDaniel said. “We will continue with initiatives in the schools and to focus on student achievement.”
Day hired McDaniel only a few months after becoming superintendent.
McDaniel also has overseen the Title-1 program, which aids economically disadvantaged students at Chickamauga Elementary, and was a member of the school improvement team, which developed annual targeted goals for all three schools in the system.
McDaniel has maintained state and federal budgets within the special education program, but believes that training sessions with special needs and classroom teachers is one of the most important roles she has developed for the past 13 years.
She began her educational career at LaFayette Middle School in 1991 as a sixth-grade special education teacher.
In 1993, she moved up several grades to teach special needs students at LaFayette High School for seven years.
McDaniel was born in Rome, Ga., grew up in Ooltewah, Tenn., and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education.
She coached the LHS girl’s volleyball team for nine years while teaching in the Walker County school system.
“I have always been a person who liked to help others,” McDaniel said.
As early as high school she sought to help other students and the community through Key Club events and donation drives. Her teen involvement in civic clubs led to a desire to have an impact with special needs students.
Author: John Grisham
Movie: “Shawshank Redemption”
TV show: “NCIS”
Actor: Tom Hanks
Actress: Julia Roberts
Philosophy: “Treat others as you want to be treated.”